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Millennials and the Future of Work: Survey Results


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Workers want freedom, and this desire is driving them towards independent (and often entrepreneurial) career paths. Following a prior study on disruption of work from the perspective of businesses, this survey examines the future of work as envisioned by professionals. Results found that many are planning their escape from corporate jobs — 72% of freelancers still at “regular” jobs want to quit entirely, and 61% say they are likely to quit within two years.

Millennials in particular are pursuing independent careers that foster faster progression than traditional hierarchical organizations. Of almost 2,000 Millennial respondents, 58% classified themselves as entrepreneurs. These responses (from more than 3,000 freelancers worldwide who have worked online) quantify the mindset of freelancers today, providing a glimpse into the professional landscape of tomorrow.

Published in: Business, Career
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Millennials and the Future of Work: Survey Results

  1. 1. AND THEMILLENNIALSFUTURE OF WORKA survey commissioned by Millennial Branding and oDeskObjective: Examine trends in the future of work, focusing on MillennialsFielded: February 2013, online, by Genesis Research AssociatesAudience: Independent workers worldwide who had been active on oDesk within 180 daysSample size: 3,193 globally, incl. 1,958 Millennials (at 95% probability: +/- 1.9 sampling error)
  2. 2. A New Independent,Entrepreneurial MindsetHas Arrived
  3. 3. Being an entrepreneur today means having acertain mindset, not just starting a companyWhat does being an entrepreneur meanto Millennials?“A creative person with a successful drive tocreate something new in the business world.”“A person committed to pursuing innovationwithin a business, industry, or social sphere.”“A person who does not follow the typicalbusiness patterns and makes his/her own way.”Mindset90%Person whostarts acompany10%What is an Entrepreneur?Q.34 Which of these statements is a better description of anentrepreneur? A person who starts a company or a personwith a mindset to see opportunities, take risks, and makethings happen3
  4. 4. Though entrepreneurship is challenging,Millennials are especially positive & benefits prevailEntirely agood thing53%There aredownsides47%Is Being an Entrepreneur… Q.32 Do you think that being anentrepreneur is entirely a good thing,or are there downsides?57%é 47%Millennials All othersHow Many Say Beingan Entrepreneur Is“Entirely Good”?Yes75%No25%Do Benefits OutweighDownsides?Q.32 Do the benefits of being anentrepreneur outweigh thedownsides, or not? 4
  5. 5. More than 1 in 3 say join a startupover finishing schoolJoin a start-up38%Completedegree62%What Would You Recommend?Q.27 If a friend had a choice ofeither completing their collegedegree at a respected universityor joining a promising start-upcompany, which would yourecommend they should do? 5
  6. 6. The Age of EntrepreneurialIndependents*:Cra ing Paths to Freedom*58% of Millennials classified themselves as “entrepreneurs”6!
  7. 7. Why a new path?Workers want freedomCorporate office/regular hours11%Work when/where youchoose89%What’s Your Preference?Q.14 For which of the following company types would you prefer to work? 7
  8. 8. Among freelancers who had a job, many quit topursue independence, especially MillennialsQuit towork formyself50%Lost job18%Other32%Why Did You Leave?57%é42%13%24%é31% 34%Millennials All othersIs There a Gen Difference?Q.6c Did you quit a "regular job" so that you could concentrate onworking for yourself, or did you quit or lose your job for some otherreason? (Based to those who had a regular job in the past)8
  9. 9. Among reasons to quit, freedom is top7%62%63%66%69%Tax benefitsControl over own workLimitless incomeopportunityAbility to choose typeworkFreedomWhy I Want to QuitQ.8 Reasons why you wouldyou like to quit your "regularjob" and work only for yourself?(Based to have a job/want toquit) 9
  10. 10. Careers are less likely to be long-term, and the idea ofa 1-employer career isn’t appealing (to any generation)Yes18%No82%Is Having 1 EmployerFor Life Appealing?Q.12 Is the idea of having only one job forlife appealing to you, or not? Agreestrongly13%Agree41%Neutral33%Disagree12%Disagreestrongly2%Are Careers Less Likely ToBe Based On Long-Term Jobs?Q.28b How much do you agree or disagree with the followingstatement? Nowadays, careers are less likely to be based on long-term jobs, more likely short-term jobs and independent contracts10
  11. 11. Freedom and flexibility drive desireto be independent54%57%59%69%87%90%92%Less stressBetter potential earningsBetter quality of lifeMore interestingMore flexibility - timingMore freedomMore flexibility - locationAgree Applies to Freelance Work vs. Regular JobQ.5 How much do you agree or disagree with each of the followingstatements about doing contract/freelance work vs. having a "regular job"? 11
  12. 12. Workers want freedom to work wherever — nowonder there’s pushback against bans on WFH11%11%20%56%Drop-in coworkspaceOpen workspacePrivate officeFrom homeWhat’s Your WorkLocation Preference?9%8%65%é13%é12%é51%Drop-incoworkspaceOpenworkspaceAt homeIs There a Gen Difference?MillennialsAll othersQ.16 In which ONE of these locations would you MOST prefer to work? 12
  13. 13. We want freedom to work when we want62%50%é70%é44%Morning Late nightWhat Times of Day Do You "Prefer to Work?MillennialsAll othersQ.13 What time of day do you prefer to work?Agree strongly18%Agree40%Neutral30%Disagree10%Disagreestrongly1%Agree the Standard Workdayis Going Away?Q.28 How much do you agree or disagree witheach of the following statements? The standardworkday (9 to 5, 8 to 4, etc.) is becoming obsolete 13
  14. 14. We want freedom to travel & flexibility to work as we goExtremely17%Very29%Somewhat34%Not very14%Not at all6%How Important is Travel?Q.19 In general, how important to youpersonally is the opportunity to travel?Work &travel63%Vacationtravel37%What’s Your Preference? Q.19a Do you want to have a career that enables you to work whileyou are traveling, or do you want to take time off from work whenyou are traveling? (Based to those who say travel is important)14
  15. 15. We want freedom to work on what we want, and7 in 10 believe that freelance work is more interestingAgree strongly35%Agree34%Neutral25%Disagree5%Disagreestrongly1%Is Freelance Work More Interesting? Q.28 How much do you agree ordisagree with each of the followingstatements? Freelance work ismore interesting than a regular job15
  16. 16. Who Will Leadthe Future of Work?16!
  17. 17. Few say gender is a factor in career success, but 65%believe certain industries offer women more opportunityExtremely2%Very5%Somewhat17%Not very25%Not at all51%How Important is Genderto Career Potential?Q.24a In what industries do women have moreopportunities for success? "(Multiple answers accepted)8%8%18%18%19%25%27%32%33%ManufacturingEngineeringTechnologyLawGovernmentFinanceConsumer GoodsAcademiaMedicineWhat Are The BestIndustries for Women?Q.23 In general, how important is a personsgender in determining their career potential? 17
  18. 18. Most believe Gen X is best suited to run today’sbusinesses; but many Gen Y think they’re ready19%77%53%BoomerGen XGen YWhat Generation Is BestSuited to Run a "21st-Century Businesses?66%é31%Millennials All othersIs There a Gen Difference?66% of Millennials SayThey’re BestQ.25 In general, who would you say has the best ideas andclearest vision about how to run a 21st-century business? 18
  19. 19. Looking Ahead19!
  20. 20. Ge ing an early start: 1/5th of those working online arestill enrolled; same % of Millennials have hired freelancersYes21%No79%Are You CurrentlyAttending College?Note: Most currently enrolled areworking on grad degreesYes21%No79%Have You Hired OtherFreelancers This Year?Q.4 In the past 12 months, have you hiredany freelancers to work for you?20
  21. 21. Other industry statistics & projections•  54% of the nation’s Millennials either want to start a businessor already have (Kauffman Foundation)•  By 2015, the world’s mobile worker population will reach1.3B, representing 37.2% of the total workforce (IDC)•  Online work industry is $1B today, and expected to be $5Bwithin 5 years (Staffing Industry Analysts)21
  22. 22. Among freelancers at “regular” jobs, 72% want to quit tobe entirely independent; 61% likely will within 2 yearsYes72%No28%Would You Like to Quit toWork for Yourself?17%44%28%12%DefinitelywillProbablywillProbablynotDefinitelynotHow Likely Are You to QuitWithin 2 Years?Q.9 How likely is it that you will quit your "regular job”within the next 2 years and concentrate on working foryourself? (Based to those who have a job) Q.7 Would you like to quit your "regular job" andwork only for yourself at some point in the future? 22
  23. 23. About oDesk:Witnessing the Future of Work23!
  24. 24. oDesk: The world’s largest online workplaceRemoving Industrial-Agebarriers in how, whereand when work is doneEnabling freedom andflexibility for both workersand businesses>600k clients>3.2M freelancersAvg. freelancer on oDesk is a Millennial***In 2012: "$360M gross services (spend on oDesk) "35M hours worked & 1.5M jobs posted24! 24
  25. 25. Hours worked are growing rapidly0.001,000,000.002,000,000.003,000,000.004,000,000.005,000,000.006,000,000.007,000,000.008,000,000.009,000,000.0010,000,000.002005/Q12005/Q22005/Q32005/Q42006/Q12006/Q22006/Q32006/Q42007/Q12007/Q22007/Q32007/Q42008/Q12008/Q22008/Q32008/Q42009/Q12009/Q22009/Q32009/Q42010/Q12010/Q22010/Q32010/Q42011/Q12011/Q22011/Q32011/Q42012/Q12012/Q22012/Q32012/Q4oDesk Hours2005 - 20122012 Hours35M hours worked/billed25! 25
  26. 26. oDesk’s three growth areasUnited StatesAustralia & CanadaUK & EuropeDeveloping CountriesCompany SizeGeographySkillsEnterprisesMid-sized companies (100 to 1,000)Small businesses(10 to 100)Entrepreneurs(<10)IndiaPhilippinesPakistanUnited States26! 26
  27. 27. Hiring is spreading globallyU.S.AustraliaCanadaUKUAE144 other countriesIn 2007, non-U.S.clients representedjust 22% of totaldollars spent. In2012, they representclose to 40%.oDesk Gross Servicesby country27! 27
  28. 28. Types of work happening are growingSource: oDesk databaseAdministrative SupportBusiness ServicesCustomer ServiceDesign & MultimediaNetworking & InformationSystemsSales & MarketingSoftware DevelopmentUnknownWeb DevelopmentWriting & TranslationIn 2007, just 4 categoriesrepresented 90% of total dollarsbilled. In 2012, 35 categoriesrepresented 90% of dollars billed,with another 41 smallercategories growing quickly.oDesk Gross Servicesby category28! 28
  29. 29. About Millennial Branding:Discovering Millennial Workplace Opportunities29!
  30. 30. About Millennial Branding"Millennial Branding is a Gen Y research and management consulting firm based in Boston, Mass.Millennial Branding helps companies understand the emerging Gen Y employee by providing research,training, and advisory services. As representatives of Gen Y and advisers to management, our goal is toprovide research and insights that will make you more profitable, grow your market share, help youunderstand your Gen Y employees, and turn you into an industry leader. As ambassadors to Gen Y, wewant to give our generation a voice, support their careers, and connect them with brands thatunderstand their needs.""About Dan Schawbel"Dan Schawbel is the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding. He is the author of the #1 internationalbestselling book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future, and the soon to be released, Promote Yourself:The New Rules For Career Success. Dan was named to the Inc. Magazine 30 Under 30 List in 2010, theForbes Magazine 30 Under 30 List in 2012, and BusinessWeek cites him as someone entrepreneursshould follow on Twitter.""We’ve worked with many companies including:""""Our research has been covered in over 100 media outlets including:30 30
  31. 31. 31!